Novel Writing Open Thread

The new novel is up to 11,000+ words. It is really just flowing out of me. I’m very happy with it. I hope it doesn’t suck! I’ve got lots to do…I suspect it’ll be in the neighborhood of 150,000 words before I’m done, given that I can already see a whole series of adventures for the brave hero and his loyal side-kick to engage in. I also have to do some research for authenticity…a few scenes already forecast are outside my areas of expertise. I’ve only tried my hand at fiction fitfully in the past…this is going to the finish. Hope to have it out in a year.

Lots of post-mortems coming out now about the Hillary Campaign. I’m not sure what to believe about all of them…the Clintons are so relentlessly dishonest and they’ve got so many shills working for them secretly and openly that it is hard to separate fact from fiction…and even something critical of the Clintons might be created just as part of a larger effort in their long-term favor. But a couple things I’ve read stick out: Hillary essentially created a sort of “loyalty checklist” for fellow Democrats, rating them on their loyalty to her, and it is also claimed that she spied on her own troops to see who might have been speaking out of turn. These two things I lend credence to because they are in keeping with the overall Clinton character. And the more I think about it, the more grateful I am for my vote last November.

Rachel Maddow – and I’m not kidding here – linked the anti-government protests in Venezuela to the fact that the Venezuelan government (through a government-run entity) donated money to Trump’s inaugural celebration. Seriously – with there being no food on the table in Venezuela; with Communist hit squads being armed by the government; with political opposition being beaten and sent to jail…Maddow’s take is that a donation to Trump is what set everyone off. Remember this every time a liberal tries to claim they are the smart guys.

TrumpCare II is apparently for real – and there might be a chance it passes, this time.

Trump is the very worst Russian stooge in history – Exxon denied right to drill for oil in Russia.

Governor Dean is unclear on what the 1st Amendment is about. To be fair, he’s pretty unclear about a lot of things.

V the K notes that Democrats suddenly seem totes cool with legislating morality. I’d like to point out, however, that all legislation is an imposition of morality. Its all about just which morality is to be imposed.

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24 thoughts on “Novel Writing Open Thread

  1. Retired Spook April 22, 2017 / 9:06 am

    This is just too funny for words.

    Last week supporters of President Donald Trump clashed with members of the leftist group known as Antifa (short for anti-fascist) in Berkeley California. The meeting of the two groups soon erupted in violence, with Antifa using mace, M80’s, and various other weapons to attack Trump supporters.

    According to Rebel Media’s Lauren Southern, Trump supporters were told by police not to bring any weapons, as police would protect them. Upon Anitfa’s arrival, the police retreated, leaving the Trump supporters to utilize whatever weapons they could get their hands on. Regardless, the Trump supporters routed Antifa after one of their members threw a smoke bomb, not realizing the wind was blowing in Antifa’s direction.

    This loss prompted Antifa members to begin discussion about how they could better prepare themselves for future skirmishes against Trump supporters.

    In the subreddit r/anarchism, one Anitfa member acknowledged the loss, and suggested that members find a way to become “better organized and better trained.” Another member agreed, saying that too many of their “comrades” went into battle “no combat training,” and suggested they start “seminars or something of that sort.”

    They are actually talking about bringing firearms to riots. What could possibly go wrong with that?

    The next to the last tweet is priceless:

  2. Frank Lee (@trumpcowboy) April 22, 2017 / 4:02 pm

    Some unasked for advice about your novel. Despite the success of the long Harry Potter volumes long ago, if you think your fairytale is going to come out around 150,000 words, you should seriously consider breaking your fairytale into three parts about 50,000 words each. It will be much more marketable to today’s impatience readers who like serials. (And more marketable as a potential film/television franchise.) If you are considering the option of self-publishing, it is definitely the way to go. Consider this particularly since you are early enough into it you might see natural breaks for a three parter.

    • M. Noonan April 22, 2017 / 11:29 pm

      I appreciate it – and I was thinking it might come out like that. I’ll write the whole thing and then see if there’s a natural place to break it into sections.

      • Frank Lee (@trumpcowboy) April 23, 2017 / 12:39 am

        It sounds like a great idea, lead characters who don’t have magic powers coping with those who do. Best of luck!

      • Amazona April 24, 2017 / 1:51 pm

        Your novel sounds intriguing, but keep in mind the need for really good research. I recently read a book that had so many clinkers in it, due to ignorance of the subject matter, I finally had to write a review of it. Oddly, while my review centered on the many glaring errors regarding horse care, horse illnesses and veterinary care—and believe me, they were bizarrely egregious—- I later learned that the author is married to a veterinarian. (He clearly does not “vet” her writing.)

        In addition to the nearly total ignorance of all matters equine, the book had some odd plot lines. For example, the Mexican characters who had a Thoroughbred horse farm high in the Rockies (the most unlikely place to breed Thoroughbred race horses) were repeatedly described as being isolated, never going anywhere, never seen in public, etc. Later when drugs and money were discovered under floorboards in the house, the conclusion was that they were using the horse operation to smuggle drugs and launder drug money. (Did I mention that they were Mexican? Not too much of a cliche, eh? They also named their black Thoroughbred horse “Diablo”. The author didn’t know anything about Thoroughbred naming, either, but she sure thought she knew her Mexicans.) Yet there was no explanation of how having horses in the Colorado Rockies made it easy to smuggle drugs, no explanation of the benefits to drug dealers in Mexico to have their drugs sent (somehow) to people who had no contacts with the world outside their little mountain ranch (and therefore no way to sell the drugs) and most of all the utter ignorance of how a horse operation could be used to “launder” illicit drug money. Horse operations don’t make enough money to hide illicit profits and explain them away. As a matter of fact, it is well known that the only way to make a small fortune in the horse business is to start with a large one.

        Having said that, I offer my services, such as they are, as a beta reader, if you want someone to relentlessly track down Rogue Apostrophes and other literary missteps. As a proof reader, I can’t say that nothing gets past me, but I do catch a lot.

      • M. Noonan April 24, 2017 / 8:51 pm

        I may take you up on that…though, so far, I don’t foresee a need for horses in the book, at least not in any detail. What I’ll first need to look into is fencing: sword fighting. There will be a bit of that in the book.

        It’s a grand story, I think…so far, writing it has been easy, and re-reading it is fun. All a matter of taste, of course; so, perhaps I’m writing a dog of a book. But, we’ll see.

      • Retired Spook April 24, 2017 / 3:39 pm

        Horse operations don’t make enough money to hide illicit profits and explain them away.

        Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

      • Amazona April 24, 2017 / 4:19 pm

        Yes, if you have a horse business that appears to be making money, you can hide illicit profits. Quarterhorses, in Oklahoma, horses that are actually racing and actually winning (even if winning through fraud) would provide a means of hiding drug money. Between the purses and betting on the horses, there would be enough money flowing to hide some extra.

        In the book, there were only a very few horses on the ranch, in an area where they could only be trained on tracks a few months a year. There is a reason Thoroughbred racing is big in mild climates with long racing and training seasons. The plot included a nasty performance-enhancing drug that was killing the two best horses, though in the book the drug was constantly being administered even when the horses were too sick to go outside the barn, when in reality a performance-enhancing drug would not be part of the training and only used at or near race time.

        There is a reason so much illicit money is laundered through businesses that are cash-rich—–coin operated businesses such as laundromats used to be popular, and casinos still are. No “horse operation” which poisoned its horses so much they couldn’t even be trained, which never took a horse to a race, could provide a cash stream in which other funds could be hidden. And drugs hidden under floorboards don’t provide a cash stream, either.

      • Amazona April 24, 2017 / 11:31 pm

        Actually, Mark, my offer was more in line with my reputation as Grammar Nazi than as horsewoman. If you do have anything horsie I will be glad to offer an opinion, but I was thinking more along the lines of “…if you want someone to relentlessly track down Rogue Apostrophes and other literary missteps….” such as sentence fragments, etc.

        Those nuns who were my teachers for nearly eight years didn’t know much about math or science, but they could read, write and spell so that’s what they taught.

      • M. Noonan April 25, 2017 / 7:54 pm

        That I may need! I have an odd writing style…but this book is, well, different. Telling a story is kinda fun.

  3. Retired Spook April 22, 2017 / 4:43 pm

    In the final show of The O’reilly Factor guest hosted by Greg Gutfeld, his guest, Tucker Carlson, who will move from 9PM to 8PM next week, made a classy comment about how he will approach the show:

    I’m very aware of the history of this hour, the bigness of it, the success of it. And the audience, which is the key to all of it. I hope I can stay true to the basics of the hour. We’re going to be skeptical, as always. I think that’s the heart of journalism. You know, ask tough questions, be respectful—I think that’s ok. But you know, force people with power to account for [what] they’re doing. That’s the theme.” (emphasis – mine)

    • M. Noonan April 22, 2017 / 11:30 pm

      Tucker is impressing a lot of people – I’ve seen a couple of his shows and (unlike some interviewers) he does follow up…

  4. Retired Spook April 22, 2017 / 6:45 pm

    Anyone else notice the new meme coming from the anti-gun crowd? For years it’s been the “gun show loophole,” a virtually nonexistent dynamic that has been refuted so many times that people just rolled their eyes when they heard it. As is the Left’s custom, when an old, tired and false argument gets worn out, they switch to something new — the “UNLICENSED DEALER.” Only problem is there is no such thing. If you are a gun dealer – ie.,your business is selling guns, you have to be federally licensed. Does that stop the Left? Not on your life!

    • Frank Lee (@trumpcowboy) April 23, 2017 / 12:42 am

      Yeah, I noticed the “unlicensed dealer” meme. Is that code for private individuals who own a gun who dare to trade or sell it personally?

      • Retired Spook April 23, 2017 / 9:06 am

        Quite honestly I think it’s any private or black market sale that bypasses the background check process. Calling the parties involved “unlicensed dealers” just gives the argument a sound of legitimacy to brain dead people who are either ignorant or just not paying attention. If legislation were passed to close this “loophole,” criminals who sell guns to each other in back alleys would ignore it, and it would make criminals out of a lot of ordinary Americans.

        Now, given the intellectual dishonesty and utter ignorance of many on the Left, it’s also entirely possible that some actually believe that there’s this huge network of “unlicensed dealers,” that skirts the law by just not bothering to get an FFL. Given the irrational thought process of the average Lefty, you never really know for sure.

  5. Retired Spook April 23, 2017 / 9:52 am

    Here is some news I thought I’d never live to see.

    Nearly 50,000 names have been removed from voter registration rolls in northeast Indiana since the Nov. 8 general election, including more than 32,000 in Allen County.

    That translates to almost 10 percent of the more than 502,000 people who had been registered to vote in nine counties in the most recent election, the same as the state rate.

    The Indiana secretary of state’s office announced this week that more than 481,000 voter registrations have been nullified statewide in a “voter list maintenance program” funded by the General Assembly. The process is known informally in political circles as “purging.”

    The state said it culled from voter registration rolls those Hoosiers who since 2014 failed to update either outdated or inaccurate registration information after two mailings from the Indiana Election Division. Also removed were those people who did not respond to repeated mailings and had not voted in any election after 2013.

    I wonder if other states are beginning to do this. IMO, nothing invites voter fraud more than having people on the rolls who either no longer live at the address where they registered or are no longer living period.

    • jdge1 April 23, 2017 / 8:09 pm

      Obviously this is great news but I find it troubling this is not a national requirement with standards forcing all states to apply the purge equally.

      “NYC Board of Elections faced a lawsuit from the Justice Dept for removing over 117,000 voters from the rolls. Federal laws prohibit this type of purge because they failed to follow a number of requirements before purging.”

      “Just before the November 2016 election a federal appeals court ruled Ohio’s method for removing voter rolls, unconstitutional. Tens of thousands of voters were removed from the rolls if after 6 years they did not vote.”

      “A federal judge that North Carolina’s recent voter purges likely violated federal law, ordering the restoration of voting rights to thousands of people. In North Carolina’s peculiar system of voter purges, any person can revoke anyone else’s voting rights. An individual need simply gather mail that was returned as undeliverable, then challenge the voter registration of residents at those addresses. If those voters do not appear at a county board of elections or return a notarized form, their voting rights are nullified. In recent efforts nearly 6,700 voters from the rolls were purged throughout the state.”

      • Amazona April 23, 2017 / 10:39 pm

        I’ve often said that I think there should be consistent purging regulations in every state. My idea is to send out a letter to everyone registered, at the registered address, a letter which cannot be forwarded but must be returned if the person is not at that address. This would be accompanied by a big publicity campaign, explaining that if a letter is returned because the person is no longer at that address, that person’s name will be removed from the rolls, so no one can be taken by surprise.

        In addition, I would require those letters which were deliverable to contain a mandatory questionnaire, one which clearly states at the beginning that the answers must be correct under penalty of perjury and later near the signature line there would be another statement that it is signed with an affirmation of its correctness and explaining the penalty of perjury for false statements. This questionnaire would ask if the person is a citizen, if not born here then requiring the date and case number of the naturalization process, and also certify that this person is registered only at this address, is not registered anywhere else, and will not vote anywhere else, and make it clear that to do so is a felony.

        While certainly some people would lie, this would have a chilling effect on people like Spook’s neighbors, who brag about voting in Indiana before heading to Florida for the winter, where they vote again. Someone here suggested that this be done on a regular basis, such as at the same time as the census.

        I don’t think people should be removed for not voting, but we should definitely cross-reference voting rolls with death certificates and also with visas granted.

    • Amazona April 23, 2017 / 10:42 pm

      …IMO, nothing invites voter fraud more than having people on the rolls who either no longer live at the address where they registered or are no longer living period.

      Or being allowed to vote without having to show a current photo ID….

  6. Retired Spook April 24, 2017 / 9:53 am

    As most of you who have been here a long time know, I tend to read things that either challenge my beliefs or are just simply contrary to my beliefs, much like Cluster likes to watch Morning Joe on MSNBC. Contrarian beliefs and rhetoric can be both entertaining and instructive.

    One of the daily newsletters that appears in my inbox every morning and evening is Personal Liberty Digest, founded by Bob Livingston. Bob is a Ron Paul acolyte but with a bigger, shinier, thicker tin foil hat, and although I like several of the writers at Personal Liberty, I rarely agree with Bob’s own writings. Today’s post is an exception. The excerpts from Wellesley College student newspaper and the open letter to outgoing Pamona College President David Oxtoby are especially illustrative. The historical context of today’s Millennials is frightening.

    Psychology tells us that the human brain is not mature until age 25. Politicians tell us – through laws requiring insurance companies to allow “children” to stay on their parents health insurance until the age of 26 that humans aren’t mature until then. Society tells us the age of maturity is much later.

    For the first time in more than 130 years, Americans aged 18-34 are more likely to be living with their parents than any other living situation. Today, 35 percent of white American men aged 18-34 live with their parents; it’s 36 percent among black men.

    Thomas Jefferson was 33 when he wrote the Declaration of Independence. Edward Rutledge, Thomas Lynch and George Walton signed it at age 26. Thomas Heyward was 29. Five others — Elbridge Gerry, Benjamin Rush, William James Hooper, Thomas Stone and James Wilson — were all 34 or less when they signed it.

    In the 1940s, “millennials” were storming the beaches of Normandy, freezing in foxholes in the Ardennes, and rooting Japanese soldiers out of hideouts in the South Pacific. Today, millennials are afraid of Chic-fil-A and slogans written on campus steps and sidewalks in chalk.

    The age of majority in most states is 18 — in Alabama and Nebraska it is 19; in Mississippi and the District of Columbia it is 21. At America’s colleges, grown children — considered by law to be adults — are lashing out with the immaturity of young children.

    Today’s millennials — emotionally and mentally stunted — have not reached the age of reason.

    • jdge1 April 24, 2017 / 8:14 pm

      It seems there’s a direct correlation between maturity and responsibility. Young adults want to have freedoms and be treated as an “adult” but will often walk (or run) away from or even scoff at being responsible for their actions, IF they are even capable. Being responsible includes many aspects of life: financially, emotionally, spiritually, morally… Young adults are rarely equipped to handle these things outside of simple requirements and are being brainwashed into a life of slavery by thinking “government” will handle those things for me. Why work for something when I can just sit around and have it handed to me? What do I care what something cost? Isn’t that what government supposed to do – take care of us? And so on. How many times did we hear from “adults” waiting for the ACA to pass, that they believed they were “entitled” to these things, and thought it was going to be “free”, and that all their troubles would go away???

      Until the majority of people take responsibility for their actions, we will have a continued degradation of maturity.

      I wouldn’t mind changing the line for deciding when maturity of an individual begins, and all of the freedoms associated with it – such as driving, drinking, voting, getting married etc… , instead of just using a static age basis. Tying these things to something more than just age could go a long way in motivating people to attain traits that are beneficial and desirable to the society’s well being. For example, restrict people’s right to vote if they are on welfare. Why should someone on welfare have a say in how tax money is spent of they themselves don’t contribute. While this is an over simplified example, I think it has value in concept and can be done with other freedom / maturity / responsibility actions as well.

      • Amazona April 25, 2017 / 6:27 pm

        JDGE, while I agree with your suggestion that people on welfare should not be able to vote, you know as well as I do that this would result in massive hysteria and more rioting as it would be called “racism”. Because the welfare rolls are so heavily populated by people of color, it would be cast as an effort directed solely at people of color. Ditto for demanding any level of education—it would be cast as a new form of poll tax.

        The problem, and I am going to speak bluntly here, is that when so much of our dysfunctional society is created by specific racial or economic groups, any effort to address the problems is easily defined as attacks on those groups. So if few black people earn a living, and/or have become educated, any effort to restrict voting to people who can support themselves or who are educated enough to process information is going to be seen as a racist attack on black people.

        The educational angle might be a little easier, as we have seen for ourselves that illiteracy is not confined to any one race, and sadly not even to any one economic level. Personally, I think anyone voting should be able to pass a very basic civics test—even an open book test would mean they would have to read the material to be able to look up the answers.

        I think we should start with reforming the educational system and having some serious welfare reforms enacted. I would also push for a definitive legal opinion on whether the 14th Amendment means anyone born in the United States is automatically a citizen. While we probably couldn’t rescind the citizenship of those who have been tacitly accepted as citizens, we could halt the flood of anchor babies born here just to gain citizenship. That would cut off a lot of the Democrat efforts to buy new voters. I would ban all translators at voting booths. Period. If you were born here, you can speak English or at least have no excuse for not being able to. If you are naturalized you had to pass a test first to prove at least basic English competency. Eliminate Motor Voter and have a huge campaign challenging the idea that the more people who vote the better. What a stupid concept. Arrest and prosecute voter fraud and voter intimidation. If not eliminate mail in ballots and extremely early voting, at least rein it in—a lot—-as both make election fraud easier. Do not let any “caretaker” vote for someone who can’t communicate a desire for how to cast his or her vote–if you suffer from dementia and don’t recognize your children you shouldn’t be able to have a vote cast in your name.

        Make things harder instead of easier. A few years ago in Colorado the state legislators had a problem—-people were not studying for their drivers’ license tests, just going into the offices and taking the test over and over again till they passed. This jammed up the whole process. So the super-brilliant legislature “fixed” that problem by making the test easier. I would have charged $15.00 to take the test, every single time you took it, and if you failed twice in one day you had to wait two weeks to take it again. Then when you finally passed, I would charge $5 or $10 to take the driving test and get the license issued.

        So while Colorado’s elected legislators made it easier to pass the test, meaning of course there were even more unqualified drivers on the road, other elected legislators make it easier to vote instead of making it a little harder, to make those votes mean something.

      • jdge1 April 25, 2017 / 7:47 pm

        Thanks Amazona. I was under no illusion that we could transition the welfare / vote scenario I mention any time in the near future, but only used it to illustrate an example of tying things of value to something other than age. There are very few things that people will place a high value on if it’s easy to get, such as you mentioned, driver permit / license in Colorado. And without a noted value, even if only a perceived value, (unlike everyone getting a participation trophy) we are left with a society with no motivation to succeed, invent, care for others, relish the gift of life, etc… Complacency becomes the norm as we devalue our very existence, ultimately becoming slaves to the few who would promise us something for nothing, while at the same time using other people’s resources to fulfill a fraction of those so called promises.

        The road to break theses cycles will almost always be portrayed as, any number of negative connotations such as racist or an attack on individuals, mostly by those who would lose their power / control. We must however, strive to achieve meaningful change that reinstitutes the understanding and work ethics to obtain these things of value,else we’ll ultimately fail as a nation. Anyone doubt we’re quickly heading that way?

      • Amazona April 25, 2017 / 8:23 pm

        jdge, I think you have hit on a key component here—–“And without a noted value…….we are left with a society with no motivation to succeed, invent, care for others, relish the gift of life, etc…”

        The easier we make it for people to acquire something—a license, voting, money from welfare, education, citizenship, etc—-the less that “something” is valued.

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